Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Poems of Resistance, Power & Resilience – Salaam Green

Close up image of a microphone on a stage. The audience that is facing the microphone is blurred, appearing as a myriad of colors (red, white, green, yellow, etc.)
As the incoming administration builds its agenda of attack on marginalized people, on freedom of speech, on the earth itself, poetry will continue to be an essential voice of resistance. Poets will speak out in solidarity, united against hatred, systemic oppression, and violence and for justice, beauty, and community.

In this spirit, Split This Rock is offering its blog as a Virtual Open Mic. For the rest of this frightening month, January of 2017, we invite you to send us poems of resistance, power, and resilience.

We will post every poem we receive unless it is offensive (containing language that is derogatory toward marginalized groups, that belittles, uses hurtful stereotypes, etc.). After the Virtual Open Mic closes, we hope to print out and mail all of the poems to the White House.

For guidelines on how to submit poems for this call, visit the Call for Poems of Resistance, Power & Resilience blog post


Because in Alabama it’s Robert E. Lee’s Day
by Salaam Green

Doing time in this black body; haven’t gotten much justice
Dark wrists cuffed in front of ancestor’s graves
Bulky coffee colored thighs rubbing against each other
Unliberated muscles poised for flight
Walking on hot pavement barefoot
I resist
Thick skinned knees pivot
Obliquing tired aligned toes from the objected right
Marching in the key of David Baker’s uniformed Incantation
Shouldering the resistance across the Triade of tired biceps
Swaying birthing hips in the warfare of the wind
I Resist
Because in Alabama it’s Robert E. Lee’s Day
Celebrated on the bronzed back brother poet MLK
Eyes catching sight of knitted rebel flags on the chests of maverick mommas
Brandished lips loosed
Blowing the fray from conscientious fingers
Cutting throats with the salty spit swallowed during the “Make America great again repass”
I Resist
Laying wrinkled hands on the last dusty black bible
Bought early in Grandfather’s tenure
Smell the tall man’s cigar smoke lingering from the bent edges
Daring the treasure of any black body to fold
From the revelry of graveled roadblocks
My God, I Resist.

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